This week’s Excalibur #6 from Tini Howard, Marcus To, and Erick Arciniega, resolves last issue’s big moments for Apocalypse and Rogue – but rounds out its status quo changes with some long-lasting developments for the X-Men, Otherworld, and Captain Britain.
Spoilers ahead for Excalibur #6.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Excalibur #6 opens with Apocalypse’s resurrection following his death at the hands of Rogue last issue – who still has a huge portion of Apocalypse’s power stored in her body.
As Excalibur takes the fight into Otherworld and to Morgan le Fay’s doorstep, Apocalypse returns to the fray - weakened but intact - and demands parlay with Morgan. The two meet on the field of battle, and Apocalypse offers terms - a fight to the death between their two champions, Betsy (the current Captain Britain) and Brian Braddock (the former).
Ensured that Betsy will be resurrected if she loses - and with Betsy refusing to kill Brian - the pair clash. At first it seems a stalemate, with Brian perfectly willing to kill Betsy, but Betsy outfighting him. But the tide suddenly turns as the pair grapple over Brian’s sword - and Betsy unexpectedly and unintentionally stabs him in the chest, killing him.
Perplexed, Betsy suddenly recognizes the presence of her other brother - the reality warping Jamie Braddock, who altered probability just enough for Betsy to strike a deathblow against Brian. With Brian dead, Apocalypse demands Morgan’s surrender, promising her exile if she allows a new monarch of Otherworld to ascend – Jamie Braddock.
Morgan surrenders with little option, and Jamie places her in a cage, saying she doesn’t get to choose her place of exile. He takes the throne, and Apocalypse crowns him King Jamie the First, uniquely poised to be ruler of Otherworld, which is now inextricably linked to the mutant island of Krakoa through the Otherworld gate that was created with Apocalypse’s ritual.
Jamie resurrects Brian with his reality-bending powers, and sends everyone home. But all is not over between Brian and Betsy. Back at their ancestral home, Brian confesses to Betsy that he had a chance to take back the mantle of Captain Britain, but failed his test, choosing the sword over the amulet. He beseeches Betsy to lock the sword away from him, lest its call to power overwhelm him, and she agrees.
Back in Otherworld, Jamie Braddock calls upon a brusque Apocalypse who is secreted in a laboratory there – where he appears to be experimenting on Morgan le Fay – a process the backmatter implies is meant to allow him to engineer an Otherworld/mutant hybrid.
Excalibur #7 is due out February 12.